Crafting a Legacy:

A Father-Son Perspective on Work and Family


In lieu of Father's Day, we sat down with Kurt, owner of Tin Roof Kitchen & Home, and his dad, Mark, the owner of Mark's Machine, to hear their perspectives on mixing work with family and how they manage it all. Let’s dive into a fun Q&A session with Kurt and Mark!






Can you share a memorable project or collaboration you worked on together?


Champion Ranch stands out as the most unforgettable project we've tackled together. We spent months living in hotels and working tirelessly on-site. One of the standout features was the towering staircase, soaring 70 feet high with an elevator shaft seamlessly integrated into the structure. During construction, we used lifts, scaffolds, and makeshift stairs. My dad fearlessly climbed and maneuvered, while I, with a fear of heights, proceeded more cautiously. Upon completion, the sense of achievement and pride was immense, and sharing this milestone with my Dad was incredibly rewarding.


One of our earliest joint ventures was a treehouse at our ranch. I initially built a small treehouse where Kurt and his friends would spend weekends. Over time, as Kurt grew older and the treehouse became a cherished spot, he approached me about expanding it. Together, we transformed it into a larger structure that later became a favorite retreat for Kurt's younger brother, Clay, and their friends. Today, it's been renovated into a guest suite.

More recently, we embarked on a significant lodge project located hours away from our workshop. Spending weeks at a time there, working side by side, allowed me to witness firsthand how Kurt's skills and capabilities had flourished over the years. It's been a joy to collaborate on these endeavors and see our shared passion for craftsmanship come to life in such meaningful ways.

How have your businesses evolved through mutual support and shared experiences?


My dad's extensive experience as a machinist and business owner spanning over 50 years has been invaluable to us. Through mutual support and shared experiences, we've grown significantly.


My dad's extensive experience as a machinist and business owner spanning over 50 years has been invaluable to us. Through mutual support and shared experiences, we've grown significantly.

Are there any family traditions or rituals that you observe in both your personal and professional lives?


It’s not quite a tradition or ritual, but both of us share a passion for developing close relationships with our clients, especially on major projects. Many of our past clients have become cherished friends over time.


We both appreciate celebrating with a good whiskey and cigar. Every Christmas, we make it a point to honor our employees by recognizing milestone years of service. They receive plaques commemorating their time with us, and we give special gifts to those who have been with us for the long haul.

How do you balance family time with the demands of running successful businesses?


Finding separation or balance between work and personal life is a continuous challenge for us. Even on vacation, work discussions still come up.


It can be tricky, but we make a concerted effort to maintain our family bond. We celebrate each family member's birthday with a special gathering, and we come together for Easter and Christmas, making these holidays cherished family occasions. We also make it a priority to take family vacations together, fostering moments of relaxation and togetherness amid our busy schedules.

What advice would you both give to aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those looking to start a family business?


Starting and running any business is challenging, but when it's a family business, the stakes are even higher. Here's some advice I'd give: establish clear roles and responsibilities right from the start and implement a monitoring system to ensure accountability. Communication is absolutely crucial—keep the lines open and transparent at all times.

Remember, there's never just one way to do things. Stay flexible and open-minded, and always strive to put the right people in the right positions. Be a sponge for knowledge—learn from every source available to you.


Starting a business you're passionate about is a huge advantage; it makes the journey more rewarding despite its challenges. However, be prepared for those challenges—they will come. A strong family relationship is vital for success in a family business, as differing opinions are inevitable. They say a family that prays together stays together, and I can attest to that; many of our board meetings start with a moment of prayer, which helps us which sets a positive tone and reminds us of our shared values and purpose.

How important is it to maintain a work-life balance, and what tips can you share for achieving it?


Haha, it’s a universal challenge, isn’t it? Achieving a work-life balance when you run your own business is a constant juggling act. The day never really ends; there's always something on your mind—big decisions, important calls, and emails that need attention. Over time, you learn to prioritize and tackle the most critical issues first, letting less urgent matters wait until you can give them proper focus.


Owning a business is undeniably stressful. Economic fluctuations, political changes, and finding the right team all impact operations. In the past, my motto was "if work gets in the way of play, change jobs." Unfortunately, as a business owner, that's not always an option. Instead, it's crucial to carve out time to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

One strategy that's worked for me is ensuring my employees are well-trained and empowered to handle crises in my absence. Trusting your team is essential—it allows you to step away from work knowing things are in capable hands. Remember, it's okay to leave your worries at the office door and take time to recharge and enjoy life outside of work. Maintaining this balance is key to long-term success and personal well-being.

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From childhood lessons in the workshop to navigating complex projects together, Kurt and Mark exemplify the power of craftsmanship, family bonds, and entrepreneurial spirit. As Father’s Day approaches, we celebrate all the dedicated and inspiring dads who leave a lasting imprint on their families. Happy Father’s Day to each of you!


If you seek a luxury RESORT RENOVATION that encompasses uniqueness and elegance, reach out to Tin Roof Kitchen & Home and embark on a journey to create one-of-a-kind treasures that make your resort the perfect getaway.

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes insights into Tin Roof Kitchen and Home!